FLOWERS FOR A WINTER WEDDING
By Dr. Leonard Perry and
University of Vermont Extension
While it's true that most weddings take
place in spring and summer, many couples choose a winter
date for the "big event."
According to the Society of American Florists,
13 percent of weddings take place in the winter, with
11 percent of those being Christmas weddings. Summer
weddings account for 35 percent, spring weddings 29
percent, and autumn weddings 23 percent.
But even though fewer weddings take place
in the colder months, that doesn't mean the winter bride
is faced with a limited selection of flowers for her
bouquet, the wedding party's flowers, and floral arrangements
for the ceremony and reception. Traditional wedding
flowers, including roses, lilies, orchids, and daisies,
are available year-round, as are many exotic ones. However,
the cost usually is higher for out-of-season or unusual
When planning a winter wedding, as for
a wedding in any season, personal preference--and budget--will
play a large part in what you chose for flowers. Some
brides pick their favorites or follow the long-standing
tradition of an all-white bouquet, symbolizing purity.
Others base their choices on what's available
locally, what complements their color scheme or bridesmaids'
dresses, or on what each flower means. Gardenias symbolize
joy, daisies innocence, and roses represent love and
happiness, for example. Red tulips say "I love
you" while white ones signify "I am worthy
The colors of the season also come into
play in decisions about flowers. Christmas brides often
choose red or burgundy as one of their colors, using
red roses, carnations, calla lilies, and other red flowers
in their bouquets with accents of silver, white, and
green, other colors traditionally associated with this
Poinsettias, amaryllis, and evergreens
are popular choices for decorations while holly branches
and other plants with red berries are ideal for use
in floral arrangements. For a seasonal touch, iridescent
or frosted glass balls, snowflake ornaments, and glittery
ribbons can be added.
If you choose red or green for the attire
of your attendants, bring along a sample of the fabric
when you meet with your florist to select your flowers.
The "wrong" shade of green foliage or red
blossom can clash with a gown of a different shade of
the same color. For emerald green, for instance, you'll
want to pick a true red rather than a maroon or burgundy
for the bouquets. Limit the amount of green foliage
although a variegated leaf might work well.
White is a popular winter color with flower
choices including roses, tulips, freesias, hellebores,
and mums, among others. But again, it's important to
pick the right white varieties to go with your gown.
White flowers come in varying shades from pure white
to ivory and even a faint pinkish white. In addition,
choosing the right foliage will help the bouquet stand
out against the dress.
White can be used as an accent color for
a bouquet of darker colored flowers or for floral arrangements
and accessories to lighten up a room, especially one
lit with candles for a romantic evening wedding. If
your gown is beaded, incorporate tiny strings of white
beads or pearls into your bouquet and table centerpieces.
Frosted glass balls, mirrors, and acrylic icicles can
be used as stand-alone decorations or incorporated into
arrangements to complement a lacy gown.
Blues and purples, especially in combination
with shimmery white, metallic silver, and glittery gold
accessories, also create an illusion of winter and are
popular with brides seeking a more contemporary look
for their winter wedding. For flowers consider iris,
freesia, statice, and heather. Or use blue or purple
as an accent color, such as for iridescent ribbon on
a bouquet or church pew; glass vases or bowls to hold
arrangements of sparkly glass balls and greenery; or
candles on mirrored surfaces.
These are just a few suggestions for flowers
for a winter wedding. For other ideas, browse through
bridal and decorating magazines, or ask your local florist
what he or she would recommend to help you realize your
dream of a perfect wedding day.